Undercurrent: The Alden Blog

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Industrial fluid dynamics insights


Amie Humphrey Facendola
Amie Humphrey Facendola

Amie Humphrey Facendola is an engineer and the Quality Assurance Program Manager for Alden.  She holds a professional engineering license in the Commomwealth of Massachusetts, maintains a lead auditor certification and played a significant role in the development of Alden's 10CFR50 Appendix B nuclear quality assurance program.  Amie also volunteers for the Massachusetts Envirothon in promoting environmental education among high school students.  Amie has been with Alden almost 10 years and previously worked for AECOM.  She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University.


NUPIC 2017 Vendor Meeting
The 26th Annual NUPIC Vendor Meeting was held June 21st and 22nd at the Hilton Riverside New Orleans and hosted by Entergy.  This was Alden’s 4th time attending the event (see last year’s blog post for more information about the NUPIC organization).  The meeting is an important opportunity for utility auditors and representatives to meet with suppliers outside of a NUPIC audit.  As Oscar Limpias, the VP of Nuclear Oversight at Entergy noted in his keynote address, “vendor performance and the partnership between vendors and utilities is critical to the future of nuclear generation”. A variety of topics were presented, including decommissioning, new plant construction, small modular reactors, equipment reliability, commercial grade dedication (CGD) and the revised CGD guidance, cyber-security considerations for suppliers, counterfeit items and delivering the nuclear promise. Copies of the presentations can be found on the NUPIC site (https://nupic.com/NUPIC/Home/HotTopics.aspx).  A common theme throughout the two days was the current state of nuclear power and its future.  While NUPIC, itself, saves each utility an estimated $1 million per year, there are more opportunities to reduce cost in relation to ...

Fluid Dynamics Hobbies IV: Archery
For many employees at Alden, fluid dynamics is part of their life outside the office--in the sports they choose for their free time.  In many cases, a sport was what came first and later helped inform a career choice in fluids and fluid flow.  This ongoing series features some of the various and unique ways our employees spend some of their non-working hours and how CFD and fluid flow analysis is being used to improve techniques used in those sports.   Part IV: Archery - Duncan Phyfe   Duncan Phyfe, a senior CFD engineer at Alden, started enjoying archery thanks to his mother.  She was one of the riflery coaches at Choate-Rosemary Hall prep school.  When the school needed an archery instructor, they assumed she could do it, since she already knew how to get one type of projectile to hit a target!  So Duncan has been shooting arrows since he was about 6 years old.   When Duncan was 10 years old, he started attending The World Archery Center (TWAC), and that is when he started to learn the physics and aerodynamics of archery. ...

Fluid Dynamics Hobbies II: Sailing
For many employees at Alden, fluid dynamics is part of their life outside the office--in the sports they choose for their free time.  In many cases, a sport was what came first and later helped inform a career choice in fluids and fluid flow.  This ongoing series will feature some of the various and unique ways our employees spend some of their non-working hours and how CFD and fluid flow analysis is being used to improve techniques used in those sports. Part II: Sailing - Dave Schowalter and Kimbal & Becca Hall Sailing is all about using fluid dynamic forces to propel and control a boat.  There is the fluid dynamics of the water against the rudder and the keel or centerboard, which allows the skipper to steer the boat and and to sail upwind.  Then there is the aerodynamics of the wind against the sails, and maximizing the lift on the sails.  As with an airplane, balancing the fluid dynamics forces is a key element to boat design and making a boat responsive and easily controllable. At least three current Alden ...

Fluid Dynamics Hobbies Part I: Synchronized Swimming
For many employees at Alden, fluid dynamics is part of their life outside the office--in the sports they choose for their free time.  In many cases, a sport was what came first and later helped inform a career choice in fluids and fluid flow.  This new and ongoing series will feature some of the various and unique ways our employees spend some of their non-working hours and how CFD and fluid flow analysis is being used to improve techniques used in those sports. Part 1 - Synchronized Swimming - Amie Humphrey Facendola I have loved swimming and being in or on the water since I was very young.  I was fortunate enough to join the local synchronized swimming team in my early teens and the sport has played a significant role in my life.  I competed with the Synchro-Maids of Central Massachusetts for 6 years in middle/high school and again as a masters swimmer for 4 years after college. A love of water is the reason I chose the concentration of civil and environmental engineering in college and was one reason ...

NIAC Annual Meeting
In November 2016, the Alden Quality Assurance department attended the NIAC (Nuclear Industry Assessment Committee) annual meeting.  NIAC is the supplier equivalent to NUPIC (https://www.aldenlab.com/News/Blog/PostId/9/nuclear-procurement-issues-committee-annual-meeting) and the main benefit of membership is for suppliers to share audits of their sub-suppliers.  NIAC membership is open to suppliers with a 10CFR50 Appendix B or equivalent DOE quality program, and who demonstrate and agree to compliance with the NIAC Charter.  Alden joined NIAC in the fall of 2014 and the membership has helped reduce quality assurance costs while also staying in touch with current industry issues and maintaining a high quality product for our clients. The meeting was held in Jacksonville, Florida and featured the necessary business of setting the audit schedule for the upcoming year and providing auditor training.  The auditor training is important to ensure consistent and accurate audits that all members can share and rely on.  Additionally, there was a keynote address by Ben Marguglio of High Technology Seminars (http://hightechnologyseminars.com/).  Mr. Marguglio is a leading authority on human performance factors and human errors, including error prevention and reduction.  He ...

Nuclear Procurement Issues Committee Annual Meeting
In June 2016, the Alden Quality Assurance department attended the annual NUPIC (Nuclear Procurement Issues Committee) vendor conference for the third year in a row.  NUPIC is an organization that provides a cost effective method for NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) licensee's to maintain their approved suppliers lists by sharing audits of suppliers.  The vendor conference is an opportunity for utilities, suppliers and regulators to get together and discuss current issues which impact the processes of purchasing and supply of nuclear components and services.  This annual event has been beneficial for Alden QA to stay abreast with current nuclear quality issues and to maintain a high quality product for our clients. The NUPIC vendor conference is hosted each year by a different utility and in addition, the NRC sends representatives and holds a workshop on vendor oversight at the conference every two years.  The 2016 event was hosted by Ameren in St. Louis, Missouri at a hotel adjacent to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (U.S. National Park featuring the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse, see photos).  Conference topics included an ...